2aUSA, which has been in operation since 2015, has received recognition as an Alabama Manufacturer of the Year finalist in the small category. The award and others, will be presented at the Alabama Manufacturer of the Year Awards Luncheon, which will be at 11 a.m. Friday at the Alabama Activity Center in Montgomery.
“This award is not about me or, really, our owners. This is really about our people that make this place run every day. It’s those machine operators that come every day, that work in a foundry,” said Larry DiChiara, the 2aUSA human resources manager. “When many of us are cozied up in bed at night, we have a whole shift of people here working. So this award is just right down my wheelhouse because it’s an opportunity to put a spotlight on our people, and of course, our company.” The luncheon is presented by the Business Council of Alabama and the Alabama Technology Network.
The award is presented to three categories: small for businesses with 99 employees or less, medium for companies with 100 to 399 employees and large, which is for all companies with 400 or more employees. There will also be an Emerging Manufacturer of the Year Award presented to a company that has been in operation for less than five years and has shown “superior performance.”
Since the award was created in 2000, Capital Vial is the only Lee County-based company to earn the award and did so in 2000. This is the first time 2aUSA has ever been nominated for the award.
DiChiara has held his position for over four years. When the company was nominated to apply for the award, he handled the application process. A representative from the Alabama Technology Network reached out to DiChiara after visiting 2aUSA a few times and encouraged him to apply for the award.
During the application process, DiChiara answered almost 40 questions on a variety of areas. They inquired about how 2aUSA’s profits has grown over the past few years through financial statements, how the company treats its employees and addresses employee morale, innovative and technological advances, safety and much more.
Almost two months after DiChiara submitted the application, he received an email about 2aUSA being named as a finalist.
“It’s been 23 years since someone from around here has won that award, so we started thinking it must be a pretty big deal,” DiChiara said. “So we’re excited about attending the event. And whether we win or not. We feel like we’re a winner because we’re a finalist and we’re just glad that they’re going to recognize us.”
When DiChiara applied for the award, 2aUSA had 97 employees. The number has since grown to 103.
2aUSA was formerly known as Aluminum Technology Schmid North America, Inc., founded in 2006 by a German company.
In 2015, Italian parent company 2aS.P.A purchased the company that is now 2aUSA. The Auburn company is complete first-tier auto parts supplier and currently a supplies for North American automobile and truck manufacturers like Volvo, Volkswagen, Daimler, Chrysler, Stellantis, Navistar, Tesla and Freightliner. 2aS.P.A. is based in Turin, Italy and produces parts for Maserati, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, Porsche, Mercedes and many more.
2aUSA is also participating in research projects with various R&D Centers and universities. The company expanded the Auburn location in 2019, adding approximately 50 jobs to the plant.